Effectuation in corporate entrepreneurship
Jarman, Jennifer Anne
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Corporate Entrepreneurship (CE) has been a topic of interest to scholars for over 40 years. Scholars have defined CE using a variety of terms, however the core idea of CE has involved entrepreneurial activities occurring within large, established firms. CE activities have included the pursuit of innovation and the introduction of new products, services and ideas in order to renew established companies and enable them to compete with more agile start-ups. To date, there has been little research on how CE unfolds which has stymied theory development and practical knowledge. The purpose of this thesis was to address this ?how? question to further understand the process of CE. I implemented effectuation as a conceptual framework as opposed to the rational-economic perspective normally assumed in CE research. The overarching research question was ?How do corporate entrepreneurs use effectuation for innovation?? I employed a qualitative, multi-case study research design with corporate innovation projects as the level of analysis. The design facilitated theory building. Data were collected via interviews as well as secondary sources. Within and cross case analyses were done to surface patterns across the innovation projects. Findings revealed three effectual mechanism including: garnering support of internal stakeholders, accreting in-house financial resources, and acquiring skills of existing employees for project development. Evidence also suggested a process model whereby corporate entrepreneurs? ideas were shaped into viable products (see Figure 2). Interestingly, findings illustrated how effectuation in the corporate setting may differ from the new venture context, the context in which it is usually applied. Implications for the wider literature are discussed along with limitations of the research design. This study extended research on effectuation through exploring effectual processes in the corporate setting. In particular, findings provided an initial glimpse of how more emergent, organic entrepreneurial processes might unfold in corporations. Such findings complemented existing research which has assumed a more rational and analytical approach to CE.